A review by sadloife
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

adventurous slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


If there was a tag for super slow pace I would have given it to this book. Until the 350 page mark the book was pretty boring and nothing seemed to happen with any of the characters. I also had an extremely hard time warming up to the character of Harte Darrigan (first of all because I find it very hard to imagine a hot person when I read the name “Harte” lmao) because of his lowkey sexist behavior towards the main character (and almost every other woman around him).
I also don’t love how the relationship between Esta & Harte isn’t built on consent, I think there was 1 (?) consensual kiss, Esta even points this out.
. There are A LOT of POV changes and they happen way too often for my taste (how is there a new chapter every five pages?). There is 1(!) lgbtq+ character in this and the most gay-cliché-trope happens to them (
her love interest gets killed, I mean COME ON
) and Esta is at multiple points described as “not like the other girls” (guys, you don’t understand, she’s not like the other rich ladies, she doesn’t wear makeup!!!). Also, is it just me or is the “Brink” in this book really similar to the “Fold” in the Shadow & Bone series?
However, around the 350 page mark I started to really enjoy this book (for reference it took me like two months to get to the 350 page mark and then I read the rest in one day). Every character seemed to have gained a personality and it was genuinely interesting to see how things turned out. My favourite character was Jianyu, unfortunately he was barely in the story :\
There are multiple twist-villain reveals in this book and to be honest, I didn’t care for either of them.
The first reveal (Nibsy was the villain all along) happened wayyy too early imo, I didn’t even understand it until the characters spelt it out for me lmao (ok, that might not be the book’s fault) and I thought it was weird how Dolph’s internal conflict (whether he should trust Esta or Nibsy) was mostly shown after we know that Nibsy is evil. Because if we hadn’t known about Nibsy’s true nature, we might have assumed that only Esta is the traitor (since her real mission is shown to the reader in the beginning). In my opinion, Nibsy’s villain reveal should have happened when he shoots Dolph, as the betrayal would have hit harder. The second twist-villain reveal (Prof. Lachlan is evil & also Nibsy) felt very predictable to an extent. From the beginning I had a suspicion Prof. Lachlan might be evil, because he keeps Esta locked up and makes her commit crimes without explaining his reasoning properly. And towards the end I noticed, that Lorcan and Lachlan are very similar-sounding names xD. 
Unrelated to that, there is a scene in which Harte has to use a bunch of stones in order to open a secret door to The Book™️ and it really reminded me of movies I watched in my childhood so it was a little strange to have a scene like that in a YA novel.
All in all while in the end I did like the characters the first half was a little too boring, and the twists (in the spoiler-section) didn’t do it for me and I don’t think I will be reading part 2.
Ps: Tell me why I thought Dolph was a 60 y/o for most of the book. The whole time he was 26!!

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